Many professionals, if not most, have aspirations of becoming a great leader. But do you actually have what it takes? Here are some useful questions to help you figure out whether or not you are ready for leadership.
1) What does leadership mean to you?
If the first images that come into your mind are of power, authority, fame, money, fast cars, Gucci handbags, minions at your beck-and-call or world-domination, then don’t even bother reading the rest of the article. Without a serious change in attitude, you will not be considered as leadership material by any reputable company. You may get a leadership role in a lesser company, or do well as an entrepreneur. But employee retention will always be an issue for you. Nobody wants to work for a leader who cares more about power and self-acclaim than their staff. Your business will only ever be as good as the quality of your employees and the strength of their loyalty. Meaning your long-term success will be doubtful.
If however, you see images of making great change and creating an even better company that will benefit both employees and customers. Inspiring and motivating others to be the best they can be. Driving an organisation forward towards new levels of innovation. Then I would say you’re off to a good start.
2) How inspirational are you?
Actually, the real question here is how inspired are you? If you yourself are not inspired, you cannot inspire others. If you genuinely believe 100% in the vision and mission of your organisation, then your passion and drive alone will inspire those around you. If you have any doubts in what you are trying to achieve, or are lacking motivation in any way, this will come through in everything you do. People will only follow an inspirational leader – meaning an inspired leader.
3) How decisive are you?
Having the confidence to make critical decisions, and the gravitas to bring others on board, is crucial for any effective leader. This comes from solid self-belief. The biggest universal problem when it comes to personal success is insecure thoughts. Thought such as “I’m not good enough”. “I’m not tough enough”. “I’m not experienced enough”. “I’m a fraud”. “I’m out of my depth”. “I don’t know what I’m doing” etc. Any leader will experience thoughts like this at one time or another. It’s whether or not you start to believe them that will determine your inner-strength and state of mind. If you are hounded by insecure thoughts, and doubt your decision-making abilities, then being in a leadership role will only make things worse. Get yourself a coach and work on your self-confidence and self-belief before taking on the huge responsibility of being a leader.
4) How emotionally intelligent are you?
Being able to recognise emotions and behaviours in others, as well as yourself, is a key quality of any good leader. Not only is high emotional intelligence key in motivating and influencing your employees (and customers), it is also crucial for successful conflict management and communication. How do you know if you have high emotional intelligence? It starts with self-awareness. If you are currently unaware of your own emotions, thoughts and behaviour patterns, then understanding other people’s is outside of your current capabilities. Your emotional intelligence is on the low side and needs developing before becoming a leader.
5) How well do you manage your emotions?
Being aware of your emotions is one thing. Being able to manage them is another. If you get stressed, nervous or angry easily, then chances are you are not ready to be a leader. Employees need a strong leader who can remain calm, centred and in control when everyone else is panicking. If they see their leader falling apart every 5 minutes, they will start lose faith and will eventually abandon ship. Either that or you could have a mutiny on your hands.
6) How humble are you?
The world’s best and most highly admired leaders all have one thing in common. They are super humble. They appreciate that all human beings are equal and a fancy title does not make one person better than another. They treat everyone with respect, and are willing to help where they can. Good leaders have the strength to admit when they have made a mistake and are happy to acknowledge when someone has a better idea. They don’t take all the credit, if any, and instead recognise and celebrate the hard work of others.
7) How willing are you to receive 360 feedback?
Great leaders realise that, while they are a solid leader, there is always room for improvement. They are willing to listen to feedback from anyone at any level, and they are secure enough within themselves to take it as just that. Feedback. If you are prone to taking feedback as criticism, and are not very adept at handling it, then you are probably not quite ready to be a good leader. Work on self-confidence and inner-security first before considering a leadership position.
For further advice on how to be a great leader and advance your leadership skills to a new level, visit www.zetayarwood.com/career-coaching or email me at email@example.com.
About the Author
Zeta Yarwood is recognised as a leading Career Coach and NLP Life Coach in Dubai, helping individuals across the world to achieve success in all areas of their lives. With a degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment – working for multinational companies and award-winning recruitment firms – Zeta is an expert in unlocking human potential. Passionate about helping people discover their strengths, talents and motivation, Zeta lives to inspire others to dream big and create the life and career they really want.